The mental toll of coronavirus

The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has also triggered an outbreak of anxiety.

The virus threatens not just on physical health, but mental health as well, even among those who aren’t infected.

The Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Neha Vyas says it’s normal to feel anxious or worried right now, but keeping it from overtaking our lives is key.

“Know if you’re in a highly anxious state and take measures to calm yourself down,” she advises. “Practice self-meditation, reflection, and do the things that you can do to calm yourself down first and foremost.”

While some of the traditional ways we seek comfort are on hold, like hugging and religious services, you should seek other outlets, like getting outside if permitted, calling or facetiming a loved one and sticking to a normal routine and diet, especially if you have children.

“If they are used to waking up at a certain time, try to keep that going. And answer their, first listen before you answer their questions because they may not need all of the information you have. They may just need someone to listen to them,” Dr. Vyas says. Look for warning signs like trouble sleeping and eating, or sleeping and eating too much, sinking into depression or obsessing over thoughts something bad is going to happen.

Those are indications it’s time to seek help, either in-person or via telemedicine services.